The Thing About Tattoos

Lately, I noticed an unmistakable trend in the number of people getting tattoos and other body mods in Malaysia.
Sarawak's very own rock princess Shal Sagan is a fan of tattoos and other body mods

Sarawak’s very own rock princess Shal Sagan is a fan of tattoos and other body mods

What was previously the symbol of ‘pai kias’ (bad boys) and a traditional rite by members of the Iban tribe, is now a fashion statement among young teens and twenty-somethings. One only need to venture to the nearest nightspot to spot the tattooed forearms, upperback, shoulders, hips and ankles among the revellers there. Tattoos are no longer sported by gangsters (or wannabe-kiasu-gangsters), but by a wide range of people from your local girl-next-door, to your high school teacher, to that high-paying executive of some multinational corporation. Its almost as if every male, female and their dogs are getting tattoos.
Dog with tattoo

Meet ‘Pie’, Dine & David’s precious dog. No actual dogs are harmed in the process of photoshopping a tattoo.

Speaking of Iban tribal tattoos, do you know that the Iban girls here have symbols tattooed on them indicating their skills or expertise at something (eg cooking)? I thought its kinda interesting. I know tattoo is an important part of the Bornean Iban culture. What I didn’t know that they do it to sort the girls like library books! Would any of my Iban friends like to verify this? Chrissie? Felicia? Heh. I’ve never seen Chrissie’s tattoo myself but I’m sure it has something to do with ‘buying shoes’.
What is Christine's tattoo?

Kenny thinks this might be possibly be the tattoo of Chrissie V.

Not all of them do it for fashion reasons. Some call it art, some do it to record an important period in their life, most just do it without reason and just for the heck of it. Its a case where because all my friends are doing it, so I might as well do it too.
Tattoos are so popular now that people who have tattoos long before they became widespread started to call these new tattoo-enthusiast ‘wannabes’. I haven’t heard much from people who regretted having a tattoo. If there are people like that then they probably aren’t too vocal about it. Most people do get addicted after having their first tattoo, and went on to have the second and third and so on.

I think he might have gotten a little bit carried away.

I can understand why people would want to decorate their bodies. What I can never understand is why people would want to decorate it something so permanent. Who knows what you want later in life, or whether or not it would impede your career if and when you move into the corporate world where it is traditionally conservative. A wedding planner, for example, would look out of place if she sports a tattoo on her shoulder when she wears a gown to her clients’ wedding, unless of course her clients are members of the local triad gang.
Anyway, this whole fashion-trend-sprouting-from-the-rebel-image thing reminded me of something similar about 10 years ago, when colouring your hair was still considered a rebellious act that only the “bad students” at my junior high would do. The “excuse” given by the teachers was because the lead content in the hair-dyes was high, the school is doing their part by protecting us from possibly poisoning our head. Of course, that didn’t stop them from dying their white hair to black because according to them, they’re dying their hair black so that’s different.
Bah! You know how hypocritical teachers are.
Despite the “warnings” some ten years ago, there seems to be more and more people with red/brown/golden hair than genetic Asian black hair. It was no longer considered an act of rebellion, rather a perfectly socially acceptable form of fashion. To girls, colouring your hair is as normal as putting on a hair band. To boys, colouring your hair makes you look like a member of F4.
Kuching F4

What Kuching boys look like when they try to look like F4.

Walking through the streets of Kuching, I can’t help but noticing more blonde heads than black heads. There’s so many Malaysians with blonde hair right now, sometimes I think I’m still in Australia.
Anyway, back to tattoos.
The reason I wrote about this is because a few months back, my girlfriend Nicole said to me that she wanted to get a tattoo. Usually I can just ignore it and she won’t mention it ever again, but I know she’s serious after she asked Joey (a dragon) for information. She even took the effort to go to the tattoo parlour with Tiffy (a flower) to look at some designs.
And I don’t like it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people who choose to get tattoos. There’s a lot of things that I don’t mind other people doing, but I won’t do it myself. Tattoo is one of them, as is smoking cigarettes, taking drugs, cheating on your boyfriend/girlfriend, joining al Qaeda, etc. These are things I won’t approve and things I won’t do myself, BUT if you choose to do it – that’s fine by me – and you won’t lose my friendship over it. Just remember to say hi to Osama bin Laden for me. πŸ™‚
I’m actually quite liberal about tattoos because a good number of my closest mates have tattoos. But this situation is kinda different, because this is my other half, she’s a part of me… and she wants to get some ink on her that can last her the whole LIFE?! What am I gonna do about it?
“Its her body wat. She has control over it.” said one of my close friends in Perth, who happen to have a rose tattooed on her hip.
I tried to retort, “But – what if she got her tattoo and I don’t like it? That means I have to put up with it. For my entire life!”
“The point is that its her body, and she can do whatever she likes.”
True. Good point. But if that theory holds, that means because I own my body so I can do whatever I like with it. I can fly to Thailand, work as a gigolo, Nicole can do absolutely nothing about it because I’m selling my body… MY body! True?
“Besides, if you really love her you have to accept her for who she is.”
That’s besides the point… !
The point is, a tattoo is permanent. The “it can be lasered off” argument wouldn’t work, because laser-removal costs USD$3,000 at the moment and from what I know, hurts 10 times as much as getting the tattoo on in the first place. A tattoo is permanent, and if I were to know that she already has a tattoo in the first place before we got together then maybe its ok, but to introduce a tattoo halfway through a relationship sounds to me like a uh… violation of contract? πŸ˜‰ I don’t know.
My girlfriend wants a tattoo, and I don’t want her to get one. I’m stuck in a dilemma between giving her the freedom to be herself, and me having to put up with something permanent I potentially dislike. Look, I just hope I’m not crossing the line and becoming a possessive bastard of a boyfriend, that’s all.
Am I the only one in this situation? Are there couples out there who have the same dilemma as I do? Does your partner want to get a tattoo but you oppose to it? Or do you want to get inked but your partner threaten to cut your balls if you do it?

74 Replies to “The Thing About Tattoos”

  1. Let her have her tattoos.
    My partner don’t have but if she wants I would not stop her. Its her rights to have a tattoo.
    Similarly if I want to smoke hash I won’t ask for anyone’s permission.

  2. It’s like those TVB TV series lor.
    So, let me tell you about what “happened” in the storyline (most of the time).
    Boyfriend assert too much control over girlfriend, in the end, boyfriend go left, girlfriend go right.
    Ok, the above is just a typical storyline from a TV SERIES. Doesn’t reflect real life.
    I think you and your girlfriend should have a talk about it. Maybe you can ask her why she wants a tattoo and you give her your feeling about it, but don’t just straight say you disapprove of it or something like that.

  3. I never like tattoos…and tend to have a bad impression on those people who have one. Why not you try to talk to her about it. Let her know that you do not like it and the tattoo might set a limitation for her in seeking a job later. She must look into the future and decide wisely. Hopefully, you managed to persuade her.

  4. When I was a kid, I really wanted to have a tatoo but I didn’t. And I guess, I have grown out of it. Anyway, your girlfriend can first try a temporary tatoo (the Henna kind) just to see if she like it.

  5. Wah, tricky situation, Kenny. Not going to say anything. Hope both of you work out something and I shall look forward to know the ‘ending’ of the tattoo TVB series (to quote KLJS).

  6. Tattoo TVB series…….
    Anyway, try to understand what your girlfriend wants. Then maybe you will understand why she wants a tattoo. πŸ™‚

  7. where does she want to have the tattoo tattooed? and how big? i think it depends, if it’s some itsy bitsy teenie weenie kind of tattoo on some obscure part of her body (like armpit) then i guess you can just open an eye and close another. πŸ™‚

  8. (insert facetious tone here) as close as you two are, it’s not as if you share the same nerve endings.

    but okay. you sound a little hysterical. i suggest you take a few deep breaths and take a few steps back to re-evaluate. i agree with munkit and adam though, and it is her choice in the end.

  9. no you can’t fly to thailand and prostitute yourself : ) you do own your body, of course, but there are different moral consequences to each action. it’s not the same.
    her body – her choice. let her have her tattoo. for all you know, it’ll read “loves”

  10. Why don’t you compromise and design something for her. (it might take a while to find something you BOTH like but worth it right?)
    Then she can be happy getting it, nad you can be happy looking at it. Even more fun if she gets it somewhere only you’ll be able to see it.

  11. estragon – What the… Its, not!
    Jon Choo, that’s a logical yet somewhat err… selfish(?) way of looking at things I guess. You are so correct, yet so wrong, but still correct.
    mrkiasu, funny most of my friends have tattoos, and went on to encourage my gf to get one too.
    kljs, miegie and ItchyMicchi, actually we did talk about it. i asked her to give it a 6 months (3 months left) ‘cooling period’ to think about it seriously and she agreed. what i was secretly hoping for is that when (or if) she gets a job (she’s still looking), she’ll finally realised how conservative the corporate world is and put off the thought. so we did kinda compromise, but i know i’m gonna go beserk if she still gets a tattoo in the end. heh.
    Anyway, last i heard she wanted to get a butterfly. 3 months ago, its a daffodil. 8 months ago, its a tulip. which is another reason why i’m kinda against her getting a tattoo – because she changes her mind all the time!
    Adam, Henna is different! I tried Henna before. Nothing like some Indian spraying some shit on you and then charge you for it.
    lilian, why not say anything? you can say anything you like here. i won’t flame you one, you know? πŸ˜‰ heh. *hugs*
    MunKit, obscure part of the body. hmmm… i know you weren’t think about the armpit, you sly devil!
    MageP, that’s another thing we have in common. heh. *shakes hand*

  12. hey kenny.. you know that very cliche phrase “as long as the one you love is happy”?
    I guess it applies. Yes, do have a talk with her lah.. but I don’t know your girlfriend and I hope she won’t be sensitive about it. I know alot of girls will be. Especially those with a very independent mindset.
    Think about it. No use fighting over something like tattoo.. it’s not something bad that she’s doing to you ma:) You can just take it as a big birthmark. I’m sure if the one you love has an ugly birthmark on her right bum cheek, you’d still love her right?
    But do still have that talk if it bothers you too much:) Good luck dude!

  13. tsk kenny. i know, just teasing : )
    would be hilarious though, had she faked it.
    kenny: WHAT THE .. it’s not kennyasia!
    kenny’s gf: i’m kidding, it’s just henna! here, rub the A off!

  14. persuade her however u can. however if u can’t stop her from doing it, then u need to learn to like it. better give some inputs as in what pattern u like, where u like it, and how big u like it, then to be an asshole about it till she gets one huge ass devil tatoo on the bicep. then that might be harder to like. it’s just hard to want to control another person. i’m sure u can work it out. good luck dude.

  15. why dont you go with her to a good parlour and choose something out together. dude i think as long as she’s not getting a fuckin full body tatt of the words Fuck You, you shouldnt have a problem with it. she’s a chick. its likely she’ll choose something small and feminine. or tribal or whatever, which is all good.
    dont be such a clamp. tattoos are beautiful.

  16. I am Iban mySelf but i don have a tattoo. πŸ˜‰ I din know that tribal tattoo indicates skills or expertise at something. I guess im more to ChiNese than Iban then. Hehe πŸ˜›
    Anyway, i don think my religion allows me to have one even..

  17. Jayelle, “ugly birthmark on her right bum cheek”? Haha! You painted quite a picture for me!
    estragon, heh! reminded me of a photo i took of a tattoo parlour. check back tomorrow for a good laugh. πŸ™‚
    cccp, as much as i don’t want a single prick on ink on her, what you said that sounds like a sensible deal. i’ll still be an asshole about it. πŸ˜€
    kljs, me? inked? as funny as it sound, i would probably do so in another life. Probably a chinese idiom my late grandmother said to me (“jiao3 ta4 shi4 di4”) across my nape. It just wouldn’t go with the shirt and tie I wear to work right now. πŸ™‚
    Vanessa, maybe you’re right – i am kinda hypersensitive about it. The whole idea of having ink on her pure white skin kinda put me off already. I did went to the tattoo parlour with her, but it didn’t help that the tattoo artist looks like a horny Santa Claus-variant. But you’re right, perhaps I need to change my mindset and work with her instead of against her. Dammit I can’t believe I’m taking an advice from a 15 year old.
    Mel – what kinda religion don’t allow you to have a tattoo? You’re christian rite? a lot of christians have tattoos.

  18. you know what? I seriously can’t stand ppl who go about judging others just because they think tatts form some sort of ‘dark evil’ perception of the person. Ie. ‘Oh…you shouldn’t do a tattoo esp. when you’re working..what would ppl think of you?’ yadda yadda. Seriously.
    Then again, I think girls with huge tribal tattoos all over them..isn’t classy and sophis. Well, who am i to judge? =P

  19. interesting topic. I don’t like tattoos too. I don’t know why. It’s cute to look at if the tattoos are small and cute but i don’t think I want something permanent on my body. Our society is not as open as the western societies. Some how, ppl are more judgemental in the east. My 2 cents. πŸ™‚

  20. Kenny,
    Sorry if I came out sounding selfish, but I guess some would intepret the act of stoping someone from doing whatever she or he wants is selfish as well.
    I am not a fan of tattoos but I never have a problem with people having them. Alot of my British pals have tattoos (but usually in private areas) and they are all decent people. So tattoos should not be used to judge people.
    Maybe you should ask her to get a temp tattoo first then try to get use to it. Those usually last for about a week or so. I had them once when I was in Ibiza. I was a whim (only girls have temp tattoos!). πŸ˜‰
    The ironic thing is in young western society, most people first experience tattoos in South East Asia (or the Carribean).

  21. Reta, but the fact that tattoos are frowned upon in the corporate world is the truth, and its a fact that is unlikely to change anytime soon. (Of course it depends on which industry you are in. I’m speaking generally here) We know we shouldn’t judge people, but if you’re someone who goes around making a lot of business deals – a business partner simply wouldn’t be confident about it if you are visibly tattooed. We shouldn’t judge people, but we can’t force other people to not judge us. Just my opinion. πŸ™‚
    Carol, tell me about it! I saw plenty of mid-aged mothers with their tattoo showing on their cleavage atop of their saggy boobs in Perth! I’m sure it looked great on them 30 years ago when they are firm, perky and voluptous. But now, its a sight sure to spoil my lunch.
    Eileen, hey I agree with the permanence of tattoos being the main issue here. I watch a lot of WWE (heh), so I am in the “I think tattoos are cool” camp. Its the permanence of it that worries me. πŸ˜‰
    Jon, yea I know what you mean. πŸ™‚ Sorry, ‘selfish’ was a harsh word to use. I was referring to the smoking hash part of your comment actually. I guess once you enter in a relationship with someone, your lives become so intertwined that what one person do will invariably affect the other person’s image/reputation. In that sense, letting each other know if you’re about to do something “big” is quite important because it could affect them as much as it affects you. But you are correct, the end decision lies in the person who wants to do it and the other person shouldn’t be selfish enough to stop it. Thanks for your point of view. πŸ™‚
    PS. I had temp tattoos many many times when I was in Perth too. Nicole never had one. I had a ‘Goldberg’ symbol around my arm. Anyway, it looked good for like the first 2 days, then after that it gets all smudgy and looked like you’ve been working in the garage and some irremovable black oil kena your arms. πŸ™‚ It gets kinda embarrassing at that stage.

  22. I was told (a few years back) by a church leader that catholics are not allowed to have any tattoos on their body. So I did a little research on the tattoo thingy. ;p
    The body is considered a temple and God’s house. It is akin to defiling a church.
    Leviticus 19:28 “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”
    1 Corinthians 6:19 NIV: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
    1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV: “DonÒ€ℒt you know that you yourselves are GodÒ€ℒs temple and that GodÒ€ℒs Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys GodÒ€ℒs temple, God will destroy him; for GodÒ€ℒs temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”
    Hehe..mayb there r lots of them who doesnt really know bout it. Hey, no offence k?! =)

  23. eh whats with the shoes tattoo. i know im crazy over shoes but i dont think ill ever print one on myself. hmm what bout tattoo with err ‘bf/gf name on them’. its commitment for a life time. anyway i would have an iban tribal design if i ever wanna have one.

  24. hi,
    u drop a word or two in my blogs, so i’ve decided to read ur in return.
    anyway, thnaks for showing me the actually function in FireFox. im a big fan of Mozilla too. down with IE.
    btw, for me, tatoos are great! it’s a form of art. but somehow my boyfriend juz doesn’t like the idea of me being tatooed too. i guess guys juz prefers the original girl-next-door type without any tatoos. or does it put u guys off?

  25. Hey dude, instead of going Thailand to be a male prostitute or Tranvestite, ask Nicoles’s permission to get “ç©¿ç ” as body art from Taiwan.

  26. hey, sorry to go off in random tangents, but, does anyone know an approx. of the costs for a tattoo in malaysia? I’m currently residing in u.s. hence the diff. in getting an idea of the costs involved. Also, are there any legal issues that goes along with it, such a parental approval if one’s below 18, etc? THANKS!

  27. Hm… i think you are possesive. She is not your other half yet. Nicole is an adult and she has the rights to make her choice. Why look so far ahead when you don’t know if you can live tomorrow? I have tattoos on my body for almost 9 years. Never regret it. Some has meaning, some just shit, i feel like to get some pain today and get it. And guess what, i work with a big american corporation and they don’t do review base on my tattoo. If a man can’t deal with a woman’s tattoo, sorry, NEXT! ~Blackwidow~

  28. if your gf is doing it for herself (as in it’s a symbol of her or sth) and not for show, then it’s ok coz it’s still part of her and you’ll still have her for the rest of your life. it’s not like after getting the tattoo, she wont be yours anymore.
    i have a tattoo, though i’m keeping it hush hush from my family and i dun like showing it off, coz it’s me and i’m doing it for me coz it completes me. It’s like a birth mark to me (if you know what I’m saying).
    and about the catholic thingy. I’m a catholic and I didnt know that catholics cant have tattoos. but then, do i go to hell for having a tattoo? frankly, i dun believe all that b.s.
    it’s my tattoo and it’s me. it’s the whole package. take it or leave it.

  29. I think that Tattoo’s are apart of a person’s life and no one should bother being too nosy about what people tattoo on themselves. Sometimes it’s got meaning to it and its a reminder to them not just a stupid fashion statement. Yes, you’re right… some people are WANNNABEE’s. Everyone is sometimes. Aren’t you sometimes influenced by other trends because you thought it was cool??? I got my tattoo not becoz everyone had it. I had it WAY before anyone I knew did. It was something I wanted for MYSELF. I seriously don’t think people should be too concerned about OTHER PEOPLE’s lives. Everyone has a right to their own opinion.

  30. Oh.. and please stop using my posters for your tattoo conversation. I do, however, appreciate the whole Rock Princess statement.
    And I can understand the situation you’re going thru, “…. I’m stuck in a dilemma between giving her the freedom to be herself, and me having to put up with something permanent I potentially dislike…”
    Something almost every couple has to go thru, isn’t it? But of course, in different ways.

  31. Come out of your coconut shell fella. Firstly, do you have permission to use that pic of Shal ? I for one think her tattoos are very artsy. Secondly, its not only the Ibans in Sarawak who have tattoos. Do some research…you’ll learn lots. Thirdly, if your girlfriend really wants a tattoo ( and it is her body) and you (who are afraid of needles) are afraid that you wont like it, then show some support by going with her to the tattoo parlour and actually choosing some pic you would like together. That’s not too hard and scary for you, right?

  32. I think you’ve misunderstood me. Obviously I know that the Ibans of Sarawak are not the ones having tattoos. Somehow I felt my intelligence insulted when you asked me to “do some research” stating that I will “learn lots”
    I *honestly* have no idea what the big fuss over Shal Sagan’s picture is. Why would I need permission to use a picture a poster that I took with my own camera? I might add… its a picture of a poster that is displayed prominently on a shopfront of a Les Paul shop in Hock Lee Centre.
    If I used a copyrighted digital image of Shal Sagan then yes I know I need permission.
    But. Look at the picture carefully and you might see even reflections of the window. I took the digital photo of that poster, then put it up here, along with all the imperfections that go with it. You’re not the first person to let me know. Why would I need permission in this case? Why the paranoia?
    Its like me taking a photo of a Starbucks shopfront, then having to write to Starbucks requesting them for permission to put up that photo I took with my own camera on my website. C’mon its ridiculous!
    I’m tempted to say to you, “Do some research…you’ll learn lots.” But I’ll just say thank you for leaving me a point of contact. If you want to discuss further as to why it is wrong of me to use *MY* Shal Sagan’s picture on my website (and giving her free publicity to some 2000 daily visitors of in the process), I’ll be happy to talk. As it stands, I think I’ve benefited Shal Sagan more than she has benefited me. I can easily remove that photo and replace it with a picture of a poster of another celebrity.
    Have a nice day.

  33. I have nothing against tattoo ..i even think of having one b4! Yeah like Jon Choo said … ppl juz happen to be a whimp sometimes! Well is hard to say who’s the one who act selfish… she might be selfish if she never consider ur feeling … i guess the best way is to really talk about it … what i mean is…
    Kenny’s gf: I wanna get one …..
    Kenny: Fine… go get one n i’ll straighten my hair like F4… sei mei~~~

  34. I have nothing against tattoo ..i even think of having one b4! Yeah like Jon Choo said … ppl juz happen to be a whimp sometimes! Well is hard to say who’s the one who act selfish… she might be selfish if she never consider ur feeling … i guess the best way is to really talk about it … what i mean is…
    Kenny’s gf: I wanna get one …..
    Kenny: Fine… go get one n i’ll straighten my hair like F4…

  35. aiyah Kenny!
    u jus spoilt my picture perfect image of Jerry Yan n Zai Zai.*sob*
    Nicole n u have probably gotten over this tatoo controversy…but was jus wondering if she had something like “I love Kenny” or the image of your face as design for the tatoo?…Hmm…would that have made a diff to your views on her getting a tatoo?
    But, no, I dont think that will sway your decision,rite?

  36. Well to me Tatoo is kinda sexy but it have to be in a place that only a bf can have a look and not any dick n harry can.ehehh πŸ™‚

  37. Uurm, Kenny, u said …”and I don’t like it? That means I have to put up with it. For my entire life!” – what if something happened to her & she had a bad scar? Would you feel the same feeling about ‘putting up with it?’ Or is it more the right to exert your opinion that is the question here?
    I think tattoos are a very personal thing, I have one that is my symbol (it’s actually what my name means) & it was custom designed. I think it’s beautiful & so do a lot of people. My brother thinks it’s too big, my parents think it’s horrible (the idea, not the design).. but a word of caution to Nicole, the older generation may not take too kindly to it. My boyfriend has three tattoos which his parents know nothing about, but because they saw mine, they formed a negative impression which I had to prove wrong.
    It would be nice if you went with her to choose a design that you both like – it can be a very sensual thing πŸ˜‰ OH, and yeah, small is good – I have a high pain threshold, but boy did it hurt!!

  38. I’m with you, Kenny. My boyfriend wants a tat, and I’m not sure I’m ok with it. I haven’t talked to him about it yet, but I decided to do some research on it and I found your site. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. What makes it worse is that we’re in a long distance relationship and he wants to SURPRISE me with it. He doesn’t want to tell me what is is or where it’s going to be. It’s nerve wracking, I tell you. Best case scenario, I can talk him out of it, or he’ll reconsider on his own.
    I know I can’t tell him what to do, but I am definitely going let him know how I feel. At least that way, if we end up staying together, I can get in a good “I told you so” when he’s 50 and it looks horrid.

  39. If you do it for the sake of art, its ok… but if you do it for the fn sake of showing the fuck off.. then you can fuck off… tattoos are not for showing off like those 18 yr old kids who do a small potato patch on their arm and wear singlet eveyrwhere they go…

  40. I totaly understand how you are feeling I feel the exact same way to my gf. I say the same things to like if she already had one in the first place. She is now my ex but she is starting to come over and see me again after a few months. As friend I guess? Nothing confusing I accepted it all and we hug but anyways… We was in the car with another friend. I was driving and kinda out of random she said she got a tattoo. I was like what? And my friend never said anything and I never said anything else. The subject change. Obviuosly no one cares! lol. But Last night I was thinking about it and I couldnt remember if she said she was getting one or if she got one. It just went over my head. But it felt like a dream where she got one, and then I wake up. My “heart?” just sank . It felt like I lost her or something It was really weird. i have yet to talk to her about it. She like apart of me. Like you say.

  41. Your article definitely opened my eyes about the society in Malaysia that you painted. It’s views like yours and your eagerness to express it to the world that continues to perpetuate the discrimination and lack of compassion to accept and understand others who are not like you, be it race, religion, sex or sexual-orientation… and in this case the people with tattoos.
    You should read up on the history of tattoos and you will understand that tattoos, like other forms of body modification in different cultures, goes back thousands of years, from pacific to eastern and to western cultures. It is only “unacceptable” in “conservative” societies only because people like you choose to perpetuate that believe, and if I were you, it is not something I would be proud to admit. What is “acceptable” behavior in society is only what society arogantly labels “acceptable” behavior, and the rest of us foolishly follow without question or educated reasoning.
    With that said, you should worry less about what society finds “acceptable” and do what YOU think is right. And YES!, I have tattoos, I love them, I do not regret having them, and they are not a fad. And YES!, I am gay and my boyfriend loves my tattoos, and I would not be me without them as my tattoos and my boyfriend are a part of me, and I am a part of them. And YES!, my family loves them too.

  42. Hey, u know, u have the same thoughts as my bf.I had thought of getting a tattoo before and I told my bf abt it.He was so against it because if i do it, we will never get married.Coz his family is veri strict.Come to think of it, i m pretty glad I din not get my tattoo as it was more of a spur of the moment thinking.
    But hey, nice entry.@_@

  43. I’m in the same situation…actually eeriely so (she wants a butterfly as well). Anyhow I dont want her to get one though she says she is getting one and theres nothing I can do about it (which is true). I asked her to give it some time and then if she wants it later on…so be it. I honostly am not sure why I don’t want her to get it. I just know I almost desperatly dont want her to. I dont know what to do. It has nothing to to with my or her rep. I dont care what other people think. I have my lip peirced…I took her to get her belly-button to get peiced (hers came out within a couple of months) Im just afriad of anything so perminet. She refuses to put any serious thought into this. To me if it doesnt realy MEAN somthing im afraid it will be very regrettable. I told her I didnt want her too becuase I didnt want her skin to be flawed by a big bloth of ink though I know thats not the reason…I dont know whats wrong with me. Im not oppose to getting a MEANINGFULL tattoo somewhere down the road myself, but im in no rush. She just can’t wait. She has talked about it once or twice before but never seriously until her father said it was okay, though he hates the idea as well. Its not religious (Im a theist-agnostic) We have dated for more than four years now…I know well get married when I finish college #2 and get a good job…I dont want to have to live with it…I cant pinpoint why. Is somthing wrong with me? Am I a control freak? Do I have any validity at all? Please I want your opinion and point-of-view. And to the catholic dir or madam
    “Leviticus 19:28 “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.” this is really taken out of context….doesnt apply to us gentiles according to the bible…further more is tattoing harming is temple or is it cutting a finger off, shotting yourself in the face? Maybe Eating to much so you will die of a heart-attack….maybe smoking and dipping/chewing (guilty)….why is being fat not faced with such scrutinny? Just my thoughts, you do what you feel is right but doing it becuase of what you belive, not what any organization is telling you….you believe that god gave you inttelegence then use it. If you agree fine then, if not, just as well.

  44. well, its fun to know that someone really cares when you’re getting a tattoo. it is meant to attract attention anyway
    Bah, its already too late to say anything now…

  45. I guess it depends on why she’s getting a tattoo. I think the best thing to do is ask her to THINK about what she’s planning to get, and not do anything on impulse (think about how all those people who got Backstreet Boys tattoos back in the day when they were the ‘SHIT’ are kicking themselves over and over ;P). I’ve had one of my tattoos since i was 14, and i’m 18 now and still not sick of it. Alotta people get tattoos cuz they have bad self-esteem. Some people get it cuz they feel that tattoos make em feel prettier. And honestly, tattoos aren’t THAT bad. Honestly. Well, apart from the permanence, that is.
    The downside to getting a tattoo is the stereotyping *COUGH* *COUGH* *NUDGE* *COUGH* *NUDGE*. They immediately classify me as a wild chick, and all the common characteristics associated with one, when i’m far, far away from that. I love tattoos cuz the pain is addictive, and the reason why most people get more than one tattoo is that when you get a tattoo, the rest of your skin looks empty! πŸ™‚
    For all you know, you might actually like it once it’s done. If she DOES go ahead with it, just remember not to get a tattoo on any part that’s prone to alot of stretching (e.g. tummy). It’ll get all blurry and blotchy.
    Oh yeah, it’s best to ask her to read up on personal experiences before deciding on anything. I recommend πŸ™‚

  46. Thanks Charis, hmm…just so you know, you dont have to get tattoed to get thrown into the same stereotype. As I mentioned before hand, I have my lip pierced and now have a mohawk, so, along with you I am automaticaly either stealing, or breaking law. But scince nearly all my shirts are black and are of bands I worship satan. At least in this small town anyway. Anyhow getting back to the point…So then were my …ummm…nearly desperate pleas coming from being some crazed megolomaniac control freak or were there some validity to my panic? She has put the tattoo off for a while, partially becuase her father changed his mind….or rather her mother quit changing it for him. You have, in some way made me feel more valid simply becuase of the Backstreet Boys reference (hmm…they weren’t totally useless. They can be used as a bad example). This is presicly my primary worry………On a different note…and I dont know why this didnt click earlier…Are all people here Malaysian, or Asian? If so I dont know how I got here…just a skinny white dude here. Is it legal to get a tattto there at 14?

  47. Not to worry about the tattoos. As long as it looks good, it is sexy. Anyways, don’t try to be someone you are not. Be YOURSELF. You can’t be classy if you are not…and trying to look like one is just superficial to yourself. This is already the 21st Century, we have all moved on from rebelious tattoo times. Now lots of gals who are sweet and nice have tats.

  48. If my boyfriend wants a tattoo, I wouldn’t stop him. But I must make sure I can accept the tattoo (the design and placement) at the first place. I will still love him as ever. It won’t change a thing. About being classy..she can look classy even with the tattoo…it’s how she carry herself. Look at Angelina Jolie, it’s her face and body that is attractive, in my opinion. She has dozens of tattoos, and we all still like her..ok.

  49. You are just a selfish ASS……….with or withour the tattoo your gal is still the same gal…

  50. I’m going through the exact same situation right now. I think I may take a leaf outta justine’s book, and ask her to give it a few months to think it over. I’ve never wanted a tattoo at all, but I was thinking five minutes ago, that if she does decide to go for it, maybe we could pick a design we both like and both get it done together. I’m now thinking that that idea is really cheesy. I just don’t like the idea of her having a tattoo at all. It’s a real bum situation.

  51. Hey – what’s with this racist comment? I was enjoying reading this blog until i saw this! Shame on you.
    Adam, Henna is different! I tried Henna before. Nothing like some Indian spraying some shit on you and then charge you for it

  52. i think the malaysian society is still a conservative society. Perhaps, people who are more broad minded can accept tattoos differently than ah bengs and ah lians. I have asked many guys, tattoos are OK. I also asked if they would marry a gal if she has a tattoo, they also said…they would not mind. All they want is a nice girl that treats them nicely. Just wanted to share.

  53. i think it is important that you need to like the body and skin of your girlfriend. and of course, your opinion counts. but more importantly, is she a trustworthy person, a nice gal and carrises herself well. does she get into trouble? tattoo is just physical. but it is better to have a tattoo that is easily covered up. a tattoo can be sexy but if it is at a visible area, people have bad perception. just my thoughts.

  54. Yeah, it does sound like racist comments,”Adam, Henna is different! I tried Henna before. Nothing like some Indian spraying some shit on you and then charge you for it”
    I understand what u mean by not liking to see your gf having tattoo and how you feel that she’s your other half.. For a relationship to workout, it need 2 people’s effort and not juz 1.. Both of you must agree in terms.. One of you must accept it.. It’s not about it’s her body, so she has the right to do so.. It’s about relationship, to take decision together with watever things which involve them.. (For those who are not serious about relationship or not serious about working out relationship might not understand it..)
    Two perspective..
    1. If she want to do it and you say no, it means you don’t care for her..
    2. If you say no, and she still continue to do it, then she has no respect to your word..
    So, who is right? And who is wrong?
    Perhaps one of you are being selfish.. Relationship is about caring for each others feeling and not being selfish..

  55. Hello there….
    Whether you like it or not…it does not matter…I spotted more than a few people have tattoos in KL. Although some of us are conservative, tattoos are the new thing. I like to see people with tattoos. I think they are brave. But you need to live no regrets, cause the tattoo is for a lifetime.
    Anyways, a grandma or grand dad with a tattoo looks cool.

  56. I used to hate tattoos. I thought it was trashy and not cool–but once I researched it a little more I realized that there are some fun and classy tattoos. Once I talked about it with my husband (because he wants one) I realized I was totally cool about him getting a tattoo if he wanted one as long as it was something he was really sure he wanted. I guess I realized that even if I don’t love the tattoo–I still love him so its okay. Eventually (2 years later–btw–I’m not old–only 21) I am actually even thinking of getting one too! a little flower one on my shoulder–so think about it and talk to her. Hope it all works out for you.

  57. Just ask your gf read your blog..she love you, she will understand your concern…after dat..its her decision once and for all. But let her be whatever she wanna be. You may not know she maybe right…… or wrong..

  58. So does people have bad perception of female with tattoo in Malaysia? Are they look as slut or cheap? In UK it is OK, as long as u dun tattoo the whole body…haha

  59. Bro… its not about the tattoo per se, its the fact that your gf wants to change and that makes you feel insecure, right? Its like if your gf doesn’t like going to clubs before and for no reason whatsoever, she is totally into it now, it makes you wonder why the change. Now being tattooed (which is for vanity reasons), its even worse because you dont know for whom (or what)she is doing it for. And you just don’t want it happening because you feel its the first step into her becoming a totally different person. People (who are in for stability) dont like change in general, its absolutely understandable.

  60. I love piercings and tattoos. I have 13 piercings and 4 tats. My girl has none, she does not like them
    but she loves me :).
    My advice, love your gf not how she looks or what she has on her πŸ™‚

  61. i have pentagram tattoo on my neck,slanted to the left side. and it killing me.. must consider of spiritual things before u have a tattoo!! beside that, i love the rest of my tattoo’s!!!!

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